UT Martin College of Humanities and Fine Arts
Department of English and Modern Foreign Languages
English Composition Theme Courses
Students must complete ENGL 110 or 111 and 112 in sequence. In order to proceed to ENGL 112, students must complete ENGL 110 or 111 with a grade of C or higher.
110.002 To Be Written in Stone: Memorials as Metaphors MWF 9 – 9:50 CRN 20802 Tim Hacker
110.004 To Be Written in Stone: Memorials as Metaphors MWF 1 – 1:50 CRN 20805 Tim Hacker
In the words of architecture critic Robert Campbell, “the purpose of a memorial isn’t really memory; memory we can get from books. It’s catharsis.” Catharsis—the emotional jolt we feel from art—does not come about by accident. Architects intentionally design memorials to achieve that result in us, the viewers. The nature of this three-way relationship, between architect, memorial, and viewer, is the topic of our class.
We’ll begin by learning about architectural concepts with Chambers for a Memory Palace, an easy-to-understand, book-length dialogue between two architects. We’ll apply these concepts, in the first half of the semester and in our first three paper assignments, to the memorials of Maya Lin: the Civil Rights Memorial in Montgomery, AL; the Yale Women’s Table; and the great Vietnam Veterans Memorial on the Mall in Washington, DC. In the second half of the semester we’ll look at other memorials, including the new National 9/11 Memorial in New York City. They will challenge our ideas of what architecture is—and of the relationship of architecture to feeling and memory.
112.DM1 Graphic Novels MWF 8-8:50 CRN 20833 Tim Hacker
The different forms that writing can take—letters, essays, short stories, and novels, for example—are called genres. Most genres have been around for a long time; it’s a rare occurrence when a new one comes along. So we’re lucky that in the past 20 years or so we’ve seen a new kind of writing emerge: graphic novels. Although they may look like comic books, they’re not. For one thing, they’re longer. And they are meaningful to us in ways that we expect serious writing to be.
We will learn about the visual craft of graphic novels by reading Scott McCloud’s Understanding Comics. We will apply what he says by writing in response to three graphic novels: Joe Sacco’s Safe Area Gorazde, about the war in Bosnia in the mid-1990’s; We Are On Our Own, Miriam Katin’s childhood memoir of the Holocaust; and Our Cancer Year, by Harvey Pekar. Each student will, in addition, complete a research project inspired by the work of our class.
This section will be joined, via interactive television, by dual-credit students from Camden Central High School.
112.DM2 Grendel's Offspring: Villains Through the Ages MWF 8-8:50 CRN 20845 Daniel Pigg
Villains have intrigued writers and readers from the earliest pages of recorded history. What motivates these characters? Are they born that way? Are they products of the society in which they live? Are they themselves victims? All of these questions are important to our exploration of villains. Our readings and writing assignments begin with the epic Beowulf, and J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone and include Shakespeare's Othello to develop one definition of villain (a person with a darkened conscience). We will also look at Shelley's Frankenstein and the poets of World War I to develop an image of society as villain. In the twentieth century, we will examine several films, including classic films, that raise an even more complex understanding of villains. Knowing how to define and identify the "bad guy" may be harder than we think.
This section will be joined, via interactive television, by dual-credit students from Lake County High School.
112H.2 Utopian Thought--The Perfect Society from Plato to the Present MWF 11-11:50 CRN 20930 Chris Hill
112H.3 Utopian Thought--The Perfect Society from Plato to the Present MWF 2-2:50 CRN 20931 Chris Hill
It’s still a vexing question: how do we create a perfect society—where everyone’s needs are anticipated and provided, where injustice and corruption are unknown, where human potential can be fully realized? We will spend the term studying theoretical and practical answers to this question, using utopian ideas in literature and political science to serve as possible, though debatable, options. We will read widely from a broad range of sources, including Plato's Republic, More's Utopia, Bellamy's Looking Backward, and Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four. Our primary focus, however, will be on generating formal and informal writing in the opinion, analysis, and research veins. This course will use a writing workshop format emphasizing the use of class time to actively work on writing skills with peers.
112.001 Designing the Document with Media in Mind 8–8:50am, MWF CRN 20852 Trish Capansky
112.003 Designing the Document with Media in Mind 9–9:50am, MWF CRN 20863 Trish Capansky
The first decision people make about a written communication is whether to read it, according to Karen Schriver. Schriver rightfully points out that the reader is not only influenced by the message but also by design practices. To this understanding I would add that the reader is, to an even greater extent, influenced by the medium in which the text is presented. With the introduction of new media, reader options create a situation where the reader has more authority than in the past over how a text is interpreted because, in many cases, genre precedents have yet to be established. In this class we will focus on how the scope of fusing content with media extends beyond aesthetics and usability to understanding the rhetorical authority a medium contributes, based on its contemporary use. Students taking this class will explore using new media in technology-enriched activities and assignments, and experiment with developing a multi-modal project which aims to develop critical reading and writing skills within new media communication.
112.012 Writing about Race MWF 11-11:50 CRN 20881 Melvin Hill
112.014 Writing about Race MWF 12-12:50 CRN 20892 Melvin Hill
In The Souls of Black Folk (1903), the great cultural critic W. E. B. Du Bois wrote that “...the problem of the Twentieth Century is the problem of the color line.” A century after Du Bois penned those words, most Americans would agree that at the beginning of the twenty-first century, the color line remains one of our most pressing social issues. In this course, we will explore the terrain of race in America by reading the works of writers of color and others concerned with the issue of race, by viewing films that address racial issues, and by writing to explore how the fictions and facts of race condition all our lives, social and civic, private and public. We will consider the complex question of racial identity, test the givens of history by uncovering histories that have been more elusive or more thoroughly suppressed, and explore how writing and reading can both reflect and challenge racial categories, hierarchies, and perceptions.
112.018 Rethinking Thin: Diet, Exercise, and Body Image MWF 1-1:50 CRN 20897 Charles Bradshaw
112.019 Rethinking Thin: Diet, Exercise, and Body Image MWF 2-2:50 CRN 20899 Charles Bradshaw
This course looks at the symbolic value of the “fit” body in contemporary culture and its relation to the billion dollar diet and exercise industries. From Jack LaLanne to Hugh Jackman, from Venus de Milo to Venus and Serena Williams, our infatuation with the ideal body seems to be a hallmark of our culture. However, we have also internalized this ideal as a symbol of our own notions of beauty, health, social responsibility, self-determination, and even self-worth. We’ll examine (along with “classic” texts from Keats, Kafka, and Hawthorne) selections from Michel Foucault and Mikhail Bakhtin. And we’ll read all of Gina Kolata’s Rethinking Thin about the history of the diet industry. Documentaries about overeating and steroid use (Supersize Me; Bigger, Faster, Stronger, and others) will help us analyze commercial images perpetrated through different media. Students will be expected to produce personal responses, literary and visual analyses, and a final research paper of 10-12 pages based on our reading, discussion, and viewing. Considerable energy will be given to developing research and library skills along with your writing.
112.026 Good Eats: Writing about Food TR 9:30-10:45 CRN 20911 Leslie LaChance
In this section of Composition 2, we'll study the traditional and changing food ways of people living in the U.S. and in other countries. Course materials and discussions will address such topics as food production, mass food contamination, sustainable farming practices, GMOs, diet fads, and food in popular culture. Plus, we'll read, talk, and write about what we like to eat and why. We'll compose formal essays and undertake a major research project as we read a selection of literary texts and essays, see some films and videos, and go on some eating adventures of our own. C'mon folks, let's eat!
112.027 One World, Many Rhetorics TR 9:30-10:45 CRN 20912 David Carithers
Rhetoric, or the art of persuasion, is not limited to speechifying. We can also find it in literature, movies, music, and any medium (even Twitter and Facebook) through which a person attempts to persuade an audience. This course will focus on rhetoric at work in our contemporary world, from popular culture to specific academic disciplines. Students will write early and often in class, in writers’ journals, and in a series of essays, one of which will be a major research project. Join us to see rhetoric alive and well in places you would least expect it.
112.028 Allegory and the Art of Reading: An I Can Read and See Course TR 9:30-10:45 CRN 209139 John Glass
How does literature produce multiple layers of meaning in a text? How do readers make sense of and find meaning in what they read? This course will examine several texts and consider the way each is specifically constructed to convey meaning beyond the literal. Beginning with a discussion of literary terms and an introduction to specific approaches to reading, students will read and discuss works by Spenser, Dante, C.S. Lewis, and J.K. Rowling, and then produce a sequence of researched papers focusing on the interplay between literal and figurative—or allegorical—meanings in each of the course’s assigned texts.
112.031 Active Citizenship TR 11-12:15 CRN 20917 Heidi Huse
112.033 Active Citizenship TR 1-2:15 CRN 20920 Heidi Huse
What does it mean to be a citizen…of one’s home country? Of an increasingly global society? Is citizenship a privilege that we enjoy without responsibility? Or does it require our active participation? What are our options if we wish to see changes in our communities or in the world around us?
This spring we’ll focus our research, writing, reading and discussion on a diversity of “ordinary” but active individuals who gave a new meaning to citizenship by accomplishing some extraordinary work in our world. Thankfully there are determined individuals, organizations, and communities who have all been willing to share their struggles openly with author Paul Rogat Loeb for his book, Soul of a Citizen: Living with Conviction in Challenging Times…and boy, it sure seems these days are quite challenging much of the time!
Writing activities center on a persuasive, source-based research paper, in addition to short essays and online writing, and writing in response to visual and literary texts. The goal of the course is for students to enhance their abilities as effective communicators in college and beyond.